Parks and Recreation

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From a breathtaking river to lush golf courses to scenic bike trails, Lodi’s backdrop is a recreational wonderland.

One of the city’s main gems is the Mokelumne River, which flows along the edge of town and draws kayakers, paddleboarders, boaters and swimmers. Don’t pass up the chance to take a memorable river tour! Other popular water activities here include rafting, tubing, canoeing and fishing.

Alongside the river visitors will find the Lodi Lake Wilderness Area, which sees the widest variety of birds in the region. It has been named the best bird-watching location in the north central valley. Keep an eye out for deer and other wildlife, too.

“Lodi offers visitors a variety of indoor and outdoor recreational opportunities. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy … cycling through miles of scenic vineyards while enjoying the Lodi Wine Trail,” said Nancy Beckman, President and CEO of Visit Lodi! Conference & Visitors Bureau. “Visitors can tour the San Joaquin County Historical Museum, Hill House Museum or travel downtown where boutiques and antique shops abound. Have children? Check out Micke Grove Zoo or the World of Wonders Science Museum where children of all ages learn about science from hands-on activities.”

Golf goings-on

Lodi offers several public and private golf courses. Local links include:

  • Lockeford Springs Golf Course
  • Reserve at Spanos Park
  • Dry Creek Ranch Golf Club
  • Micke Grove Golf Links
Grab your bike

Other beautiful scenery can be found on the city’s back roads, which cyclists love to explore. Lodi celebrates the sport each year with the Giro D’Vino bike tour in the fall, and the 50k-, 100k- and 100-mile Tour delle Vigne race in May. In June, both amateurs and pros descend on downtown streets for Cyclefest, a
daylong event.

What’s more, Bike Lodi – a group of local cyclists – has compiled a set of local routes and maps specifically for cyclists visiting from out of town. Rides range from five to 50 miles, with many including stops at wineries and cafes. With names like “Breakfast Burrito Bike Ride,” what’s not to love?

Maps can be accessed on the Visit Lodi website (www.visitlodi.com), downloaded into a Garmin, or accessed through the “Ride with GPS” app on smartphones.

Zoo fun

Another way to get wild is at the Micke Grove Zoo. Located in the heart of Micke Grove Regional Park, the zoo is home to native and exotic species from all over the world. Some noteworthy exhibits include the Tropical Forest Canopy, which is home to green iguanas and Prevost’s squirrels; and the Island Lost in Time, where visitors can spy lemurs, geckos and radiated tortoises.

Museums

Lodi has arts and culture offerings via several museums. They include the following:

  • The San Joaquin County Historical Museum, which provides a historical perspective of the region. It offers eight exhibition buildings; four historic buildings; room dioramas of Weber family furnishings (Captain Charles Weber was founder of Stockton and the first farmer in the area); a children’s gallery; and large displays of hand tools and agricultural equipment. Visitors in December are treated to the museum’s annual Festival of Trees.
  • Another museum is the Hill House, which is a must-see for history and genealogy buffs. This turn-of-the-century Victorian house was built and owned by George and Mary Hill, an early Lodi family. The house is filled with many original furnishings and artifacts.
  • For a hands-on educational experience, look no further than The World of Wonders Science Museum. Located downtown, the museum’s mission is to get visitors involved in science-based exhibits and programs to stimulate discovery for all ages.
Parks and rec

Lodi’s Parks, Recreations and Cultural Services Department marks its 75th anniversary this year. A yearlong celebration has included monthly commemorative events. The park district’s mission is to improve the lives of residents in Lodi. In just the past year, the department has implemented several new attractions, including an annual spring egg hunt, a haunted house, and free outdoor concerts, at Hutchins Street Square.

Located in the heart of the city, Hutchins Street Square is one of
Lodi’s crown jewels. This event center is arguably the epicenter of the city, boasting many rooms and facilities, including a theater, amphitheater, halls, a rotunda and an indoor community pool. It houses programs including arts and specialty classes, adult day care, Camp Hutchins Child Care, the Youth Commission and the Arts Commission.

In addition, it hosts a vast array of musical groups, theater events, wedding receptions and business conferences. For more ideas of what to see about town, check out www.visitlodi.com.